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Sunday February 11th, 2007

Anura to claim Premiership?
CBK, Mangala moot new political alliance
In a dramatic turn of events, ousted Minister Anura Bandaranaike is likely to stake a claim for the Premiership, informed political sources told The Nation yesterday.
It is likely that the UNP, TNA and JVP will reach some kind of understanding with dissenting members of the government, to muster the support of 113 members to send a petition to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, claiming the premiership for Bandaranaike.
Former Minister Mangala Samaraweera who is on an overseas tour is in Singapore en route to London, will now return to Sri Lanka to do the necessary spadework for the deal.


“Glad to be out of this carnival of clowns” - Anura
Former Minister of National Heritage Anura Bandaranaike claimed he was relieved to no longer be a part of the government, following President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s decision to sack three of his Ministers late Friday.
Speaking to The Nation yesterday, Bandaranaike said that he was happy to no longer be a part of the ‘carnival of clowns’ that is this government and is relieved to be absolved of responsibility for all of the nation’s ills.
“There is no cause for removal and personally I am delighted that I am not a part of this carnival of clowns.



Peace pact a mistake: Mahinda
President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in an interview with BBC News, had said that the Sri Lankan government’s peace pact with the LTTE was a mistake: “Today we realise we have made a mistake. Through the peace pact, we’ve demarcated areas called LTTE controlled areas, and they have taken the rights of the people through this pact.

President takes it all
President Mahinda Rajapaksa is the custodian of 90 statutory bodies coming under the purview of the four ministries he heads while some Cabinet Ministers have only two or three department under them.

President takes it all
President Mahinda Rajapaksa is the custodian of 90 statutory bodies coming under the purview of the four ministries he heads while some Cabinet Ministers have only two or three department under them.

What will the government do?
The hype generated by the much talked about report presented by the Committee On Public Enterprises (COPE) to Parliament now seems to be dying a natural death with several of the key officials found accountable in the document, continuing in their respective positions of authority unabated by any of the allegations levelled against them.

Ban on filling storm water retention areas next week
The Ministry of Urban Development will next week gazette areas it has identified as sensitive storm water retention areas in the Colombo Metropolitan and suburban areas as part of its emergency measures to minimize flooding due to rainstorms.

Allan Rock recommends targeted measures against LTTE
Allan Rock, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, in his report to the Working Group of the UN Security Council, on Friday, has recommended targeted sanctions against the LTTE.

World Bank not satisfied with Samurdhi
Despite a long history of publicly funded targeted welfare programmes, most such current programmes including Samurdhi are well below potential in protecting the consumption of the beneficiaries.
This was revealed in a World Bank Dissemination Workshop held last week where World Bank report titled “Sri Lanka Poverty Assessment” was presented.

TNA turns down President’s invitation
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has rejected President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s invitation to join the government.
President Rajapaksa’s invitation to the TNA came in the wake of his speech to the nation during the Independence Day celebration on February 4.





Implosion looms large in the blue camp too
Mahinda Rajapaksa’s presidential election victory has been compared to S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike’s historic triumph in 1956, in that he rallied together diverse nationalist and left-of-centre forces to forge an unlikely victory. However, in the context of the SLFP, Rajapaksa’s victory is best compared to that of Ranasinghe Premadasa’s win in 1989.

Political Affairs
Mahinda, Anura cross swords

The sacking of two senior ministers from the cabinet of President Mahinda Rajapaksa comes as a surprise to most people. But a few knew that problems were brewing within the government quarters for some time until it reached a climax on Friday night.


CMC land grab
A hasty decision by the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) to trespass on a land already leased out to Russia is likely to spark off a diplomatic row between Sri Lanka and Russia.

Arrests – follow the due process
The arrest of three activists of the Sri Lanka Railway trade unions and its bi-monthly publication Akuna last week and the subsequent incidents that took place has left many in utter confusion.

Military Matters
Target: LTTE leadership

Exactly a month back on January 11 to be precise, the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon recommended that “targeted measures be undertaken against LTTE political and military leadership” for violation of children’s rights.

Operation Vakarai II: Bringing civilians home
After living under the LTTE yoke off and on for some two decades, the people of Vakarai will soon be given a taste of what it is like to be administered by the central government of Sri Lanka. Some two weeks after the recapture of the key eastern area by government troops, the authorities are moving frantically towards ensuring that some 16,000 people are resettled by the end of February.

Crossover confusion in House
Chaos in government with UNP reformists crossing over was reflected on Tuesday when Parliament sat for the first time with the newly sworn 52- member Cabinet.


Ranatunga on the decline of sports
Former Sri Lanka cricket captain turned politician Arjuna Ranatunga blamed successive governments for the sad decline of sports in this country.
“Sometimes I feel that governments don’t identify Sports and Youth Affairs as an important Ministry. Next to Finance and Health, Sports is the most important Ministry, more than the other Ministries. Governments have not given a lot of thought to sports and thereby not appointed proper persons to run it,” Ranatunga told The Nation.
“Sport has given this country a lot of pride, a lot of identification. Unfortunately for the last 10 years it has been on the decline, mainly because of the people who have handled sports,” Ranatunga said.

Crushing a myth
The clanking of iron in gymnasiums these days suggests that club rugby players are working hard to pack muscle on their physiques for the upcoming 2007 rugby season. For the rugby players of Sri Lanka Air Force these routine sessions in the gym will no longer be the same. Sri Lanka Air Force has made arrangements to have its players trained by a professional in strength and conditioning, Talavou Alailima.


“I don’t give a damn!” – Anura lashes out
Just minutes before President Mahinda Rajapaksa ousted three senior ministers from his cabinet, one of the victims of the Presidential blow, former Minister of National Heritage Anura Bandaranaike gave The Nation a no holds barred interview. An almost clairvoyant Mr. Bandaranaike who knew nothing of the moves for his removal at the time, said that if the President was planning to sack him, he would be compelled to remove several others, including his former Campaign Manager, Mangala Samaraweera. When asked about the rumours pertaining to his impending removal, a nonchalant Bandaranaike responded that he cared very little about losing his non-portfolio that only gave him power over the prehistoric remains at one museum in the country. If his interview with this newspaper is any indication, Minister Bandaranaike has decided to exit the cabinet all guns blazing and determined to take on one who holds the highest office in the land.

“The elephant has survived” - Ravi
United National Party (UNP) parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake says there has been a calculated attack on the UNP by the government to bring about splits within the party. He says even the recent crossovers of UNP MPs, was a conspiracy engineered by the government.


Designed by Mangala Madanayake





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